CONCORD, N.C. – In six NASCAR Cup Series starts at last weekend’s venue, Texas Motor Speedway, Chase Elliott has never finished outside the top 11.
Last Sunday, the driver turned in another solid performance at the 1.5-mile Lone Star State track, keeping that streak alive by taking home a sixth-place finish.
After starting the race in 16th, Elliott had already cracked the top 10 within the first 15 laps. He earned ninth- and 10th-place finishes in the first two stages to pick up extra points, and he continued to run inside the top 10 in the final segment.
In the closing laps, he continued to battle for positioning, advancing all the way up to sixth before taking the checkered flag.
The result was his fifth top-10 finish in his six career Cup Series races at Texas, and he’s already looking for better things to come at ISM Raceway, the final, elimination race in the Round of 8 of the playoffs.
“I feel better about Phoenix than I did about today, for sure,” Elliott said after last weekend’s race.
Currently standing at sixth in the playoff series, Elliott is 39 points behind the cutoff line in the hunt for a spot in the Championship 4. He acknowledged the No. 9 team isn’t looking to play the points game, but rather has just one goal in mind.
“Tough spot to be in,” Elliott said. “But, ultimately, you’ve got to be in a must-win situation at Homestead if you ever make it down there. You might as well get used to it and like it.”
This weekend, he heads to a track where his average finish of 6.8 is the second-best at ISM Raceway all-time. He has earned top-10 finishes in all but one event at the track in his Cup Series career and finished inside the top three in both of his last two trips there.
The only guaranteed result that gives Elliott a Championship 4 spot is a win this weekend. He could also clinch on points, but would need help depending on the winner.
The driver and the rest of the No. 9 team are ready to embrace the challenge.
“We’ve got to win,” Elliott said. “Simple.”